Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. VS. Officer Jame

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JackBlack's picture
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<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
Who do you think was in the right?
 
I think that after Professor Gates showed the Officer Crowley his ID the officer should have left.
 

buyandhold's picture
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I think it's pretty outrageous that the POTUS should get involved and come down on a police officer.Also I'm pretty sure this Gates guy has a history of inciting trouble like this.

Moraen's picture
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So, the officer responds to a call of two black men breaking in to a house (likely an old white lady).

The officer verifies that Gates lives there and that there are no other problems. Gates gets irate and yells at the officer. The officer gets his feelings hurt (and just like Windy gets mad) and so arrests Gates.

The police drop the charges.

A few issues here: First, the officer should have asked if Gates needed any further assistance and verified that he wasn't being coerced (legitimate reason to be in the house) into anything.

Second, Gates should not be yelling at police officers. He is an educated Harvard professor. I'm sure he can articulate his point without screaming.

Third, Gates should have ignored the racial profiling aspect. Racial profiling would have helped prevent terrorist attacks. Racial profiling will catch more serial killers. Racial profiling will prevent rapes and murders and gang violence.

The best way to reduce racial profiling is to change the behavior of the people being profiled.

Fourth, after verifying that Gates was ok and the homerenter, he should have left and never arrested Gates.

JackBlack's picture
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Moraen:
I agree with you.
Officer Crowley is a specialist in racial profiling. He teaches about racial profiling at the <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Police Academy. I do not believe Prof. Gates was racial profiled. I was not there so I do not know what was went on. I would bet that Gates was an a$$hole to officer Crowley, and that Officer Crowley  a got his feeling hurt so arrested Gates. I think there is blame to go around, but most of it belongs to Officer Crowley.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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If Gates was being loud and obnoxious, shouting at the officer that he was a racist, saying that this is what happens to the black man in this country, what else would you expect of a police officer, but to arrest the guy for it.  Crowley says he told Gates that he was crossing a line several times before he actually arrested him.  There are two maybe three people who know the truth of what happened here:  Gates, Crowley, and the other guy who was helping Gates.  If there is blame to pass around, why blame the cop?  He's doing his job.  Gates is the one who was doing the yelling. 
 
Even if Crowley didn't do things right, Gates would have done better for other African-Americans if he would have just thanked the guy for making sure everything was alright and not getting into his face about racism.  When you go on the defensive and start throwing racism remarks out there, nothing good can happen from there.   

Moraen's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote: If Gates was being loud and obnoxious, shouting at the officer that he was a racist, saying that this is what happens to the black man in this country, what else would you expect of a police officer, but to arrest the guy for it.  Crowley says he told Gates that he was crossing a line several times before he actually arrested him.  There are two maybe three people who know the truth of what happened here:  Gates, Crowley, and the other guy who was helping Gates.  If there is blame to pass around, why blame the cop?  He's doing his job.  Gates is the one who was doing the yelling. 
 
Even if Crowley didn't do things right, Gates would have done better for other African-Americans if he would have just thanked the guy for making sure everything was alright and not getting into his face about racism.  When you go on the defensive and start throwing racism remarks out there, nothing good can happen from there.   

I expect the officer to walk away. He completed his job. He verified that there was not in fact anybody breaking in to Gates residence. He is a servant of the people, not himself. When he puts on the uniform, he is held to higher standard than Gates.

Both were in the wrong. You blame both.

I don't know how it is in law enforcement, but in the military, when you wear the uniform you are expected to be BETTER than the average citizen, including Harvard professors. You represent not just yourself, but the entire force (military or police).

Jebediah's picture
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If the police got a call about a break in and they did not check it out and it had been a burglar, they would be racists.  If the officer was calm and Gates went ballistic, the officer is a racist.  If Gates was calm and the officer arrested him for "being black", he is a racist.  The officer is accused of being a racist regardless of what happened.  As long as every problem and issue is blamed of racism, minorities will never break free of self imposed chains.  Not to say there is not racism in the world, but a fraction of what most minorities (and I am one) accuse others of.

Omar's picture
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Gates deserved to be arrested.  You can't yell and scream at a cop and not expected to be either arrested or bashed over the head with a nightstick.  The officer had every right to arrest that man after warning him several times. He sux!
 
Obama shot himself in the foot with the comments he made today.   He has no business calling out the Cambridge police actions as "stupidly".

3rdyrp2's picture
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Obama's comments will follow him as long as he remains in office.  In 3 years we will still remember how he brought up race in a situation he did not have the facts about.

Moraen's picture
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Omar wrote: Gates deserved to be arrested.  You can't yell and scream at a cop and not expected to be either arrested or bashed over the head with a nightstick.  The officer had every right to arrest that man after warning him several times. He sux!
 
Obama shot himself in the foot with the comments he made today.   He has no business calling out the Cambridge police actions as "stupidly".

So does that mean if my wife yells at me, she should be arrested or bashed over the head with a nightstick?

JackBlack's picture
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Omar wrote:Gates deserved to be arrested.  You can't yell and scream at a cop and not expected to be either arrested or bashed over the head with a nightstick.  The officer had every right to arrest that man after warning him several times. He sux!
 
Obama shot himself in the foot with the comments he made today.   He has no business calling out the Cambridge police actions as "stupidly".

 

Omar:
I do not know what the law is in <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cambridge Mass. but I do not believe that yelling at a cop should be illegal. I think is unwise, but I do not think it should be illegal. As to be bashed on the head for yelling that is out of line.
<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
The police are public servants. Sergeant Crowley should have walked away, even if Professor Gates was say something about Sergeant Crowley Mama.

 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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JackBlack wrote:Omar wrote:Gates deserved to be arrested.  You can't yell and scream at a cop and not expected to be either arrested or bashed over the head with a nightstick.  The officer had every right to arrest that man after warning him several times. He sux!
 
Obama shot himself in the foot with the comments he made today.   He has no business calling out the Cambridge police actions as "stupidly".

 

Omar:
I do not know what the law is in <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cambridge Mass. but I do not believe that yelling at a cop should be illegal. I think is unwise, but I do not think it should be illegal. As to be bashed on the head for yelling that is out of line.
<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
The police are public servants. Sergeant Crowley should have walked away, even if Professor Gates was say something about Sergeant Crowley Mama.

 
I would think that anywhere in this country when you start yelling at a police officer, who was doing his job, you put yourself at risk of being arrested by said police officer. 
 
Public servant or not, when the public that Sergeant Crowley was serving becomes beligerant, the police officer has to have the ability to put a stop to it.  I wouldn't say he has the right to hit the guy with his knightstick (they don't carry those anymore do they? Don't they have those telescoping metal rod things?), but he should certainly have the right to put the guy in his cruiser and take him back to the station to cool down for a while.   
 
It will be interesting in this case to find out if they release the audio from the incident.  Gates says he's the victim.  Crowley, and his union board, say that he's in the clear.  The president says the Cambridge police acted stupidly.  Only one of them can be right. 

3rdyrp2's picture
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JackBlack wrote:Omar wrote:Gates deserved to be arrested.  You can't yell and scream at a cop and not expected to be either arrested or bashed over the head with a nightstick.  The officer had every right to arrest that man after warning him several times. He sux!
 
Obama shot himself in the foot with the comments he made today.   He has no business calling out the Cambridge police actions as "stupidly".

 

Omar:
I do not know what the law is in <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cambridge Mass. but I do not believe that yelling at a cop should be illegal. I think is unwise, but I do not think it should be illegal. As to be bashed on the head for yelling that is out of line.
<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
The police are public servants. Sergeant Crowley should have walked away, even if Professor Gates was say something about Sergeant Crowley Mama.

Gates didn't simply walk up to the cop on the street and start talking trash.  The police were responding to a call from a concerned neighbor who allegedly witnessed a break-in at the house minutes beforehand by black men.  Like it or hate it, when the cops got there they saw a black man inside the house and had to treat him like a suspect.  The neighbor who called the thing in didn't say "a man is breaking in a house", she said "black men are breaking in the house".  If the "black man" who was at the house when the cops arrived did not cooperate and answer questions that were asked of him and got in the cops face, the cops had every right to feel like their safety was at risk.  He could have been Gandhi, but if a neighbor calls and says "There is a bald Indian looking man with very little clothes on breaking into a house next door" and the cops arrive with Ghandhi standing right there, the man is a suspect until proven otherwise.

JackBlack's picture
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Spaceman Spiff:
Why should yelling at a police office be illegal?

 Do I not have the freedom of speech?   
I would bet that Professor Gates was being a d1ck, but that is not illegal. 
Think of the old saw:  Stick and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.

3rdyrp2's picture
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JackBlack wrote:
Spaceman Spiff:
Why should yelling at a police office be illegal?

 Do I not have the freedom of speech?   
I would bet that Professor Gates was being a d1ck, but that is not illegal. 
Think of the old saw:  Stick and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.
 
He didn't say yelling at a police officer is or should be illegal.  He said if you are going to yell at an officer you put yourself at risk of being arrested, which is 100% correct.  If an officer asks a question in the middle of a response call and you yell at an officer, there is a better chance you will be put in handcuffs than if you answer the question politely.  That can't be disputed.

JackBlack's picture
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<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
From what I have read, Sergeant Crowley was walking away from Professor Gates, after determining that Professor Gates was the lawful resident of the house. Now, Gates was no longer a suspect.  Professor Gates then followed Sergeant Crowley out of the house yelling at him, when <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Crowley told Gates to stop yelling or go back into his house or face arrest.  Gates continued to yell at the Officer. Gates was then arrested. Gates was arrested for being a d1ick. It is not illegal to be a d1ck.
 
 

Moraen's picture
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I wonder if any of us have all the information we need to make a determination of who is at fault. That's why I say it's both of them.

If someone yells at me, what is my recourse? Because you have a badge, you get to arrest me and get me a mug shot? That's ridiculous!

As for Gates. A Harvard professor needs to think about the University he is representing as well as the people he represents. Any time someone makes a racist remark about Tiger Woods, he says nothing. The media takes care of it for him. Fuzzy Zoeller, the girl from the golf channel. All chastised in the public. The same would have happened here. Tiger Woods is a class act, and somebody like Gates could learn from the younger generation.

Write a paper, or something you moron! Or include it in a book.

JackBlack's picture
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Moraen:
Right on. I agree with you 100%.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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JackBlack wrote:
<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
From what I have read, Sergeant Crowley was walking away from Professor Gates, after determining that Professor Gates was the lawful resident of the house. Now, Gates was no longer a suspect.  Professor Gates then followed Sergeant Crowley out of the house yelling at him, when <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Crowley told Gates to stop yelling or go back into his house or face arrest.  Gates continued to yell at the Officer. Gates was then arrested. Gates was arrested for being a d1ick. It is not illegal to be a d1ck.

You're correct.  It's not illegal.  He got arrested for disorderly conduct.  From what I can tell, that's a pretty vague reason to be arrested, but in this case, Crowley says that he warned Gates several times, more times in fact than most people would have got, to back down but Gates kept it up the tirade.  So, it seems that if the officer you're dealing with believes  you've pushed him too far, then it can become illegal.  That's what happened here.     
 
 

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BioFreeze wrote:
Uppity schwartzes need to be placed in handcuffs on occasion. It sends a strong message to the rest of them. Wind... will you come back and translate Bio's post for us?

anonymous's picture
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Gates is at fault.  Crowley might be at fault.   We don't know enough details to know who is responsible for Gates being arrested.   It's going to remain a he said, he said.  However, Gates is certainly responsible for turning an incident that had nothing to do with race into a racial incident.
 
Can someone please explain what race had to do with this?

Ronnie Dobbs's picture
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JackBlack wrote: Gates was arrested for being a d1ick. It is not illegal to be a d1ck.

Looks like it is illegal to be a d***, if you're told to stop.

From the American Law Dictionary:
A typical statutory definition of disorderly conduct defines the offense in this way:

A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:
(1) engages in fighting or in tumultuous conduct;
(2) makes unreasonable noise and continues to do so after being asked to stop; or
(3) disrupts a lawful assembly of persons;
commits disorderly conduct. . . [1]

Jebediah's picture
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anonymous wrote:Gates is at fault.  Crowley might be at fault.   We don't know enough details to know who is responsible for Gates being arrested.   It's going to remain a he said, he said.  However, Gates is certainly responsible for turning an incident that had nothing to do with race into a racial incident.
 
Can someone please explain what race had to do with this?

 
 
The cop was white and that was all Gates needed to determine this was a racially motivated situation.

BondGuy's picture
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From what i've read it seems that Crowley was doing his job and that Gates is a race baiter.
 
That said, having a police officer come to your door, enter, and then demand that you identify yourself in your own house is a fire looking for gasoline to be poured on it. And Gates emptied the can! I can picture myself losing it in that situation, less the racist diatribe.
 
Unfortunately, race gets dragged into many situations. Like in our area where police had to defend themselves against racial accusations when they stopped a black woman driving a blue Ford Escort. She claimed racism. The facts were that a black woman had just robbed a bank one town over and witnesses told police the robber had escaped in a blue Ford Escort. Though police had probable cause to pull this woman over the police forked over a settlement rather than take their chances in court in a state over sensitized to racial profiling. That's ridiculous!
 
And then there is the opposite problem- not mentioning race when it should be mentioned. A young black woman in our area went on a one day bank robbing spree. She robbed three banks in one day. The local radio reported that police were looking for a black woman between the ages of 18 and 25 and then gave a description of her height, build and dress. The local TV stations did the same. However, the local news paper left her race out its description. Yet, this same paper has no such skin color reluctance when it comes to describing white suspects. So, the race thing is polarizing and at times we are just a little too politcally correct.
 
As for Obama? What an idiot!

3rdyrp2's picture
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Man, pretty big development with it being shown that the 911 caller didn't specify the break-in people as black.  Wonder how rosy that night on the town over beer will be this week between the 3 men now?

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Of course it's standard operating procedure. It would be irresponsible for a police officer to respond to a complaint or 911 call without verifying the person is infact the home owner. Especially if the complaint is a burglary.  I am by no means a racist, but Gates is trying to play the race card.
 
Of course there are still issues concerning race in many parts, but it isn't what they make it sound to be. In a funny way, African American people gripe about segregation, but continue to play the race card it seems because it's the only way to keep themselves separate from whites. Last time I recall, I don't remember seeing "White in America" on CNN, White Entertainment Television, Miss White America, NAAWP,  White History Month, Scholarships for Whites only, White person not getting a job and reporting it to the EEOC, White person getting fired and blaming race, and blaming the police department for your own faulted arrest, because of race. Like I said, I am in no way racist. In fact many of my minority friends would agree with me when I say, if you want to be equal, then stop segregating yourself with all these programs and racial arguments. If we had any of these programs, there would be a lawsuit and a public apology on their behalf. This crap makes me sick. Cop did his job.
 
It makes me sit and think what the actual problem is. When I can apply for a job and have the exact same credentials and experience, and in some cases more credentials and get turned down for a job because the other person is African American and they have to meet a minority quota, something is wrong. Thats what is causing segregation and racial conflict, not the ordinary white person.

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